Tips for Keeping Children Safe During Winter Sports
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COLUMBUS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL WINTER SPORTS SAFETY
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Researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Columbus Children's Research Institute on the campus of Columbus Children's Hospital recommend four key safety guidelines-based on the results of several new studies-to help keep children safer during winter sports.



Newswise - Researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Columbus Children's Research Institute on the campus of Columbus Children's Hospital recommend four key safety guidelines-based on the results of several new studies-to help keep children safer during winter sports:

--Enforce helmet use. The majority of serious injuries are to the head. Wearing a helmet is the most important-and easiest-way to increase safety in winter sports.
--Scope out the route. In many of the studies, collision was the leading mechanism of injury. Parents are encouraged to walk the sled route to be certain there are no obstacles that could cause injury.
--Avoid crowded areas. Collisions occur more often when activities take place in crowded areas. Parents should use common sense when evaluating safe space for their child to engage in the activity.
--Supervise the activities. Though accidents can still happen when parents are supervising, parents are generally more adept in identifying dangerous scenarios. Additionally, they can assist in getting medical attention quickly should an accident occur.

"Examining injury patterns among five different winter activities-skiing, snowboarding, sledding, ice hockey and ice skating-we identified that the number one injury is to the head and neck region," said Gary A. Smith, M.D., DrPH, pediatric emergency medicine physician at Columbus Children's Hospital, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy (co-author of all the studies) and associate professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health. "Many of the head and neck injuries we reviewed could have been avoided if the child was wearing a helmet. As the cold weather approaches, winter sports will become increasingly more popular among children, and it's important that parents are reminded of this important safety measure."

The importance of helmet use is demonstrated through four studies:

http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/507874/